Other Reports

Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings: A Guide to Crossing Consolidation and Closure

  • 01
  • Jul
  • 1994
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
KEYWORDS: Model Approach, Safety, Consolidation Selection
ABSTRACT: [From the Foreword] This guide is about highway-railroad grade crossing consolidation and closure—an effective, but often overlooked, option for improving grade crossing safety. The concept of closing unnecessary and hazardous crossings is not new. However, the advent of the systems or corridor approach to evaluating crossing safety and the need to address the persistent problem of accidents at low volume crossings have increased attention on crossing consolidation and closure. The benefits of consolidating unnecessary grade crossings include: fewer intersections at which collisions between motor vehicles and trains can occur; removal of a potential safety hazard at a cost that is often only a fraction of the cost of warning signals and gates; redirection of limited resources to the remaining crossings which have the greatest public necessity; and a reduction in the number of at-grade crossings which may need costly improvements or grade separation in the future to accommodate high speed rail operations. The Federal Railroad Administration is encouraging states, political subdivisions and railroads to reduce the 280,000 public and private grade crossings by 25 percent. In support of this initiative, the FRA developed case studies of actual grade crossing consolidation and closure projects. This guide is derived from the case studies. The guide condenses the lessons learned from both the successful and unsuccessful projects. It was prepared to disseminate information to state transportation agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and railroads on how to gain local support for grade crossing consolidation and closure projects.